Kwantlen First Nation is the latest local winner of a provincial award recognizing excellence in business.
Langley’s Seyem’ Qwantlen Business Group has received accolades from the B.C. Economic Development Association, for implementing a number of initiatives that provide economic benefits to the community.
Kwantlen received the Community Project award for populations less than 20,000.
“Since inception, February of 2011, SQBG has expanded its employee base from one to 60 employees, successfully operating five companies and one non-profit,” the letter from BCEDA states.
“Activities are diverse, with its strength in new business startup and economic development.”
Speaking to Langley City Council last week (Sept. 15), Tumia Knott, president of SQBG and a Kwantlen First Nation Councillor, outlined the business ventures undertaken by the Kwantlen First Nation since a formal decision was made to divide its business ventures into separate entities.
Among the five corporate entities that fall under the SQBG umbrella are the new lelem Arts Café in Fort Langley and a gift shop at the Fort Langley Historic Site.
SQBG is also working with the Dilawri Auto Group, which leases the Kwantlen-owned land on which the Langley Mercedes dealership sits.
It also has forestry interests in Maple Ridge’s Blue Mountain area and works in partnership with the province and the District of Mission to operate a campground at Sayres Lake.
“I feel we’re just out of the starting gate,” Knott told City Council.
“We’ve got a long way to go to reach our high goals.”